Electronic Theses, who pays for digitisation?

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This is the first in an ad hoc, likely sporadic series of interesting answers to not-so-frequently asked questions.

Q.  If someone wants a digitised thesis from EThOS, that has not yet been digitised, who pays for it, the researcher or the library here?  And how do they go about requesting it?

A.  Helen Webb, of the Library’s Research Liaison Team promptly gave us the answer:

The set-up for EThOS is that the university that owns the thesis pays for the digitisation. Most universities have agreed to this, however many have been taken by surprise a little by the level of demand and have run out of funding (I assume for this academic year). In this case the default in EThOS is that the requestor pays, however we have said that we will pay in these cases as long as we have money in the allocated budget to do so. So, if anyone comes across one which hasn’t yet been digitised and they are told they’ll have to pay, they should get in touch with us and we’ll pay.

To request that a thesis is digitised, people just have to register and log into EThOS, search for the thesis they would like and then add it to their ‘basket’ (as the BL is persisting in an Amazon style shopping approach to it, it seems). It should cost nothing, there may be other options to select print versions that has a price and there will be a price if the awarding uni has run out of funding. If it’s free, they can continue with the process and request it and then the BL will get it digitised and let the researcher know when it’s ready for them (and anyone else) to download. It’s usually about 30 days, more if it’s a particularly busy time.

The Library resources pages have more information on obtaining theses.


2 thoughts on “Electronic Theses, who pays for digitisation?

    Helen said:
    June 2, 2010 at 16:11

    Thanks for putting this up Sarah – we’re always happy to answer queries!

    I should probably have also said that there may be occasions where we wouldn’t pay for digitisation – this might be because the thesis is available locally in print (eg Brighton Uni) or if someone asks for multiple theses we might not be able to pay for them all… the best plan is to get in touch with us and we can try to work something out.

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